Other people matter to God.
"I must proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also..." Luke 4:43
In this passage of scripture, Jesus was being persuaded by many in the city of Capernaum to stay. Jesus had preformed many miracles and touched the lives of many people. Prior to this, Jesus had been rejected in his hometown of Nazareth. You would think that after being rejected there, and having experienced great success in Capernaum, Jesus would want to stay. This is when he said that he must go and reach the "others."
Other people matter to God. He is interested in reaching the others. And reach them he did. He "went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil." He healed drunkards, tax collectors, prostitutes. He never seemed to be too interested in whether they deserved to be healed. He just did it. The others who are outside of the church matter to God just as much today. But today, we are the ones that God uses. The "others" are in our schools, our workplace. They sit next to us as we cheer at football and basketball games. They are part of our family, but they are not yet in the family of God. Jesus went to the others.
When God sees you he does not just see you. He sees the others that he can reach because of you.
You have a circle of influence and you were strategically placed by God in the place you are to reach them. You are the seed that God will use to reach them.
It has been said that not everyone reads the bible but they do read us. It is up to us to be a good read. The bible call us "living letters, known and read by all men." We are either an argument for or against christianity. Your ability to persuade others is stronger than you know. They may know how you were. Then you were reached. They see the change. The others matter to God. To get to them, God had to get to you. You matter, but so do they. God wants to use you, your influence to bring others to him. This Christmas season, reach. Extend a hand. Invite someone over. Find the others. And when you do, you will be the hands and feet of our Savior.
Paul Andrews is the pastor of Life Church, Augusta. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org